July 25th, 2013
ISS Transit Over The Moon:
Trust me, the full image (which you can go to by clicking on the cropped version above) is well worth a look.
April 3rd, 2013
Twenty Awesome Covers From The US Space Program. My favourite is the cover for the manual for the NASA/Grumman Apollo Lunar Module: nothing else looks like the LM.
[Via Extenuating Circumstances]
September 5th, 2012
I wonder how many science fiction writers have drafted stories where this phenomenon is a deeply meaningful, possibly even elegiac, symbol of … something or other…
While the $5.50 nylon flags are still waving on the windless orb, they are not flags of the United States of America anymore. All Moon and material experts have no doubt about it: the flags are now completely white. If you leave a flag on Earth for 43 years, it would be almost completely faded. On the Moon, with no atmospheric protection whatsoever, that process happens a lot faster. The stars and stripes disappeared from our Moon flags quite some time ago.
Alternatively, this is just another attempt by NASA to drum up support for another series of moonshots:
Mr President, we can't let the next passing alien invasion fleet think we've surrendered. We must go back and plant a pristine flag at Tranquility, oh, every decade or so.
April 4th, 2012
If Earth had a Saturn-style ring system the night sky would be a hell of a lot more entertaining.
It's just a shame that the megalomaniac space entrepreneur who decides to try to make these scenes a reality by blowing up the Moon will most likely be reviled as the man whose legacy – at least to the Earthbound portion of the human race – was a Forest Moon of Endor-sized catastrophe.
[Via James Nicoll]
March 17th, 2012
December 25th, 2011
September 11th, 2011
My favourite thing about the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's images of the Apollo lunar landing sites is that you can still see the tracks of the lunar rovers, and the trails left by the astronauts walking from the lander to the local landmarks.
It's one thing to be aware that there's no atmosphere to disturb the tracks left in the lunar dust, but seeing the evidence almost forty years on is something else entirely.
April 2nd, 2011
February 21st, 2010
Life imitates movie publicity:
Fortunately, it turns out that there is a good explanation for why Obama canceled the Constellation program. That explanation has been provided by Richard C. Hoagland. Hoagland, you may remember, is the person who discovered the lost city on Mars, and a bunch of giant invisible structures on the Moon that he asserts are the remains of alien civilizations. They're there, he says, but because they are invisible we have to trust him.
Hoagland has come up with a startling revelation… that Obama canceled the lunar program because (drum roll please): he was warned by Space Nazis. [...]
It's crazy, but it's not quite up there with my favourite Hoagland theory, about Iapetus. Now that's quality crazy.
[Via James Nicoll]
June 13th, 2009
More weapons-grade stupidity from astrologer Satya Harvey, commenting on JAXA's plan to crash-land their lunar probe Kaguya in order to observe the composition of the debris thrown up by the impact:
Purposefully crashing something into the moon just to watch what happens is akin to a schoolboy cutting up a live frog to see what makes it jump. It is an example of the domination of the left-brained rational scientific approach over the intuitive.
Did these scientists talk to the moon? Tell her what they were doing? Ask her permission? Show her respect?
[Via Ben Goldacre]